Short Rotation Forestry for Biomass

The UK has signed up to the EU Renewable Energy Directive which includes a UK target of 15% of energy from renewables by 2020.  This target is equivalent to a seven-fold increase in UK renewable energy consumption from 2008 levels: the most challenging of any EU Member State.  While such an increase is ambitious, and will be challenging, biomass will play a key part in it’s delivery.  It will also help to deliver the decarbonisation of the energy sector identified by the Committee on Climate Change’s first report as a priority if the challenging greenhouse gas emissions targets set in the Climate Change Act are to be met. (Forestry Commission)

Energy companies are interested in the potential for fast growing tree species to be used to provide a solid fuel for electricity generation. SRF grows quickly and can be harvested at between 5 and 15 years of age offering high yields in a short space of time – potentially giving better energy returns than either traditional forestry, woody crops grown as coppice or Miscanthus grass – and provides material suitable for conversion to both electricity and heat. (Forestry Commission) 

The Forestry Commission are currently undertaking a number of SRF trials across the UK including 6 sites in Scotland.  Native aspen is one of four native species with a further nine exotic species involved. 

Eadha Enterprises is promoting the use of native aspen in SRF systems.  We believe that aspen is unrivaled when balancing landscape and biodiversity objectives with productivity.  The supply of local provenance clones can create robust systems which are most suited to local conditions.  Aspen also has the advantage of being able to colonise marginal land offering a solution to the debate around the substitution of food crops for energy crops. Eadha Enterprise’s development of a national clone collection will allow the selection of superior clones together with the genetic range to provide genetically diverse systems which will provide optimal resilience in the face of increasing plant disease risks in the UK. 

For Eadha Enterprise’s full SRF report including species comparison table click the link below:

SRF using native aspen


Eadha Enterprises can provide the following services:

  • Site Ecological Survey
  • Design of ecologically sensitive SRF
  • Woodland Establishment
  • Woodland Management

Eadha Eco Energy leaflet

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